PokerStars has announced that it is introducing a brand-new type of cash game competition called PokerStars All Stars. The format of the game is entirely different from existing tournaments. PokerStars All Stars is an invite-only competition that pits the best cash game players against each other.
Making the announcement on the company’s blog, Severin Rasset the Director of Poker Innovation and Operations for PokerStars said the aim was to offer players a platform to test their skills to their utmost.
He said that the idea was born from the observation that over time all players improved their skills resulting in lesser mistakes and more exciting games.
In a statement, Severin Rasset said
What about giving our best players the opportunity to compete in a rake-free environment, with the focus being on the skill difference between players, in order to acknowledge who the best online cash game players are? From this idea, we came up with the concept of ‘All Stars’.
Two stakes will be available – the NL200 (Masters) and NL2000 (All Stars) in NL Hold’em poker format. There is no rake for the games and around $100,000 is being offered for leaderboard prizes.
Players can participate depending on their performance in cash games on PokerStars in the past year. For NL200 (Masters) level, players would need to have played successfully at the NL100 to NL400 tables, taking home winnings of at least $10,000 in the last 12 months. In case of the All Stars category, the winnings limit increases to $25,000 netted at games at NL500 level and above.
Rasset said that the site would be reaching out to the eligible players via an email shortly, providing further details regarding the tournament. As a means of sharing the excitement, PokerStars said that it will be asking those participating to disclose their hand histories throughout the competition in order to showcase highlights to other poker players.
The competition will run between April and May this year. A second season is planned depending on the reception for the new idea. According to Rasset, the online poker site will consider expanding the format to new games and involve even more players. He added that he would be watching the tournament closely and listening to feedback from players.
A tournament with zero rake will be surely welcomed by all. But while the idea of playing against the best of players can be exciting to some, others may be put off. Coming months will reveal the extent of player acceptance for the idea.